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Thread: Portland

  1. #1
    SuperMod Daveg4otu's Avatar
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    Default Portland

    Visited Portland today and had a look at the old HMS Osprey there.

    http://dorset.hampshireairfields.co.uk/pot.html


    Many changes going on now with the site being carved up.

    In the annoted Google view (top)... the area outlined in red is that retained by the MCA for use by the SAR unit....a large new hangar is now fully occupied.
    The disused runway stays within the new boundaries but the tiedowns to the SE of the runway are now being used as a car park(altho free and rather unkempt - lots of rubbish on places).

    New access road as shown ...and the blue outlined areas are undergoing extensive redevelopement.

    Below the GE view there are 4 photos..
    First shows view across the MCA area to the NW - the yellow boat in the distance is in a boatyard in the new developement area.
    Second is the disused RW from the West.
    Third the tie down area (car park now ) from the NE.

    Lastly the SAR AW139 G-CGWB






    Last edited by Daveg4otu; 21-01-2014 at 12:47.

  2. #2
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portland.

    Nice update.

    I must admit, though, to being confused about Portland's "airfields". I understood the the current site was developed either late war or post war on the site of RN playing fields. The original site, albeit very small, was somewhere else close by but I can't find an exact location. Was there an earlier airstrip (used by Swordfish?) or have I got it wrong?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Portland.

    Got to be the smallest runway ever hasn't it?

  4. #4
    SuperMod Daveg4otu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portland.

    PNK.... the Swordfish were on floats...772Sq,Swordfish,formed 9-39,dep7-40...
    http://dorset.hampshireairfields.co.uk/pot.html

    Any land based fixed wing ops in the area would have been either at Chickerell..
    http://dorset.hampshireairfields.co.uk/chi.html
    or Lodmoor...(entry on my Dorset Airfields site......)

    "WEYMOUTH:Lodmoor:There was an aerodrome here(Actual location was the Weymouth Cricket Club's ground at Overcombe Corner)- used by the RFC/RN for flying.It is recorded that Lt Spencer Grey flew a Blackburn Monoplane from here on 7th January 1912 .On the 10th January he crashed on landing whilst trying to avoid spectators on the landing ground.He suffered a dislocated arm.There was a hangar to accomodate the aircraft.In May 1912 the RFC used a site during the period around the Naval Review held at Portland in May.The aircraft were a Short biplane,a Deperdussin and a Nieuport. The aircraft had been bought to Portland on board the HMS Hibernia which had been fitted with a launching platform in the bows.An additional Short biplane, No.41, fitted as a "hydro- aeroplane had also come on the battleship. The "hydro-aeroplane" flew from Portland harbour. A "shed" had been provided on the shore for the aircraft(see image below on LEFT).Right hand image below shows Cdr Samson at Lodmoor with Short aircraft "S38". In addition there were visits by several civilian machines at that time- including Claude Grahame-White who flew his Henri-Farman monoplane from the aerodrome(The aircraft was brought in by rail & road)Also present at the time was Benny Hucks with his aircraft.There were further visits later in the summer by RFC aircraft.

    By 1921 there was a "listed" aerodrome here according to "Flight" Sept 8th 1921 .This continued in use until 1933."


    If you want to see the development of the Air station site over the last 100 years ...look at the site below which shows the view from Portland looking along the Chesil beach as shown in postcards from 1904 to 2007.

    You can clearly see that until the 1950s, there was nothing where the air staion is now except the marshy expanse of The Mere....Here's the link (Use LH menu to advance thruough the years- click images for enlarged views)

    http://www.chesilbeach.org/pictures/pos ... land1.html
    Last edited by Daveg4otu; 21-01-2014 at 12:48.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Portland.

    I wonder if any fixed wing aircraft (other than Harriers) have ever managed to use Portlands runway?

  6. #6
    SuperMod Daveg4otu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portland.

    It would be a little tight even taking the grass to the SW of the runway into account ...total length available is just over 460 metres.

    The only FAA aircraft capable(safely) IMO would have been the couple of Tiger Moths that they had on charge till the early 70s at L-o-S(and other places).

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    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portland.

    Thanks for the info. I'd forgotton about Swordfish with Boots.

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    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portland

    Only just noticed that Portlands huge runway has moved by 1 degree at some point. Must be uniquie on modern military "airfields"?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    SuperMod Daveg4otu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portland

    I'm sure it's not the first by a long way.....
    Change due to magnetic variation - it must happen to all sooner or later...just how soon depends how close to a runway heading is to a figure ending in 5+ now - this will determine how long before it becomes less than 5 and so precipitates a "label" change.

  10. #10
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portland

    I actually meant the runway itself not the magnetic heading. You can see the old alignment to the top right of "21". I suspect it's only a spray job as the whole area is probably concrete.

    On the subject of magnetic change, does it only move in one direction or can it go back to 'original' at some point (decades, centuries or millennia)?

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